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breed profile

Shar Pei: Wrinkles you’ll fall in love with!!

Who likes wrinkles? But, covered from head to toe with wrinkles, these Chinese dogs leave everyone at awe! Regal, proud, intelligent and absolutely clean dogs…that’s how the Shar Peis are.

 

When we lost our Boxer dog, we were heart broken and thought we would never find a wrinkly headed dog to breed profilelove again. That was the time when somebody mentioned that he could cheer me up with one look at a puppy that was wrinkled from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail! I didn’t believe such a dog existed and within minutes we were driving to see a litter basket full of the world’s most exotic and adorable little puppies. Before the day was out Okaah, our first Chinese Shar Pei came home as a gift from my brother. The unique experience of owning the rarest dog breed in the world turned me and my husband into enthusiastic dog breeders and exhibitors for life!

Our Shar Pei loves to watch television. Don’t know if she can really see anything but she loves pretending to watch with us every evening for a few minutes. She has a particular spot on the bed that she occupies when she watches her television. She particularly enjoys programmes that make animal sounds like horse racing, and stuff on animal planet!! This wrinkled beauty sure is bitten by the TV bug, like all children are!!

We are ancient!

The Chinese Shar Pei (meaning sandy coat) is an ancient and unique breed, that has been existed for centuries in the southern provinces of China, apparently since the Han Dynasty (c. 200 BC). Statues bearing a strong resemblance to the Shar Pei have been discovered and dated to this period. Originally a multipurpose Chinese farm dog, today the Shar Pei is exhibited in conformation, agility, obedience and tracking.

We are wrinkled!

Shar Pei is an alert, compact dog of medium size; one of the rarest dog breeds. This breed can be recognised by his ‘hippopotamus’ head shape, walnut like wrinkles, dragon feet and butterfly nose. The Shar Pei, like the Chow-Chow, has a blue-black tongue; these are the only two breeds featuring this characteristic.

A Shar Pei’s head is slightly large, and covered with profuse wrinkles on the forehead and the side, almost framing the face. His almond-shaped eyes display a scowling expression while his ears are extremely small and slightly rounded at the tips. Ears are set high and lie flat against the head. His muzzle is one of the distinctive features of the breed, which is broad and full. Another characteristic feature of a Shar pei is his high set tail, which is thick and round at the base.

A Shar Pei can have two distinctly different kinds of coats: the horse coat (harsh to touch) and brush coat (soft to touch). They are found in different colours such as cream, apricot, fawn, red fawn, black, isabella, blue and chocolate.

We are intelligent!

The Shar Pei is an intelligent breed, they are alert, dignified, sober but snobbish. Although unfriendly with strangers, they are extremely devoted to their family.

We are regal!

The temperament of a Shar Pei is regal, which is completely a delight! Their head is always held high, and they love to be petted and cuddled. If you are looking for bright students, Shar Peis are for you…they are bright and learn quickly. They are very quick to learn toilet training…which of course is a big relief for all pet parents. And they are extremely clean…you will never see a Shar Pei rolling in mud. If left alone, a Shar Pei would sit quietly and wait for you to return. They are not scared of being left alone but hate it like most other pet dogs.

We love to run!

Shar Pei loves games that involve running and chasing. If you have kids at home, they will be pally with them.

We need walks!

Shar Pei requires moderate amount of exercise and two good walks a day are just what they need. This compact medium sized dog is well suited for apartment living and does not need a house with large gardens for free play though the same would be added bonus to his lifestyle!

We are cute!

Shar Pei puppies are the cutest that one has ever seen. His excessively wrinkled look makes you go weak in the knees. Along with good feeding and lots of cuddling, a Shar Pei puppy needs to be pampered with some special attention to his eyes in particular as they are often covered with heavy wrinkles. Just keep them clean is the mantra that works best. Shar Peis are clean dogs that require little more grooming than an occasional bath, regular ear cleaning and toe nail clipping.

We are sturdy!

They have short coat with hardly any hair fall. There are several misconceptions in people’s mind that Shar Pei can have skin disorders due to their heavy wrinkles. This is not true unless your dog has an illness!! But like most other dog breeds, they are also prone to some health problems, like entropian (eyelids curling inwards), Hypothyroidism, Demodectic mange and Swollen hocks fever.

We can guarantee that once you have been bitten by the “Shar Pei love bug”… you’ll always want one.

(For more info on Shar Pei, visit mysharpeipuppy.webs.com or call at 09779977588).

 

Come Fall in Love with the magnificent Mastiffs

“What lion is to cat, the Mastiff is to dog,” goes a popular saying. If you happen to meet an English Mastiff for the first time, do not be scared of his large size as beneath his giant body, lies a heart of gold. He is a family pet in true sense. While his size will keep strangers at bay, his sweet disposition and friendly behaviour will keep your family happy. Here’s some more info about this exquisite breed. An English Mastiff is perhaps one of the most handsome breeds. His massive and muscular body, coupled with dark, hazel eyes, are admired by one and all. He is a rare combination of beautiful looks and sweet temperament.

“An English Mastiff is naturally protective and extremely possessive of his family and home. He thrives on human companionship and affection. Give him lots of quality time and, in turn, you will be rewarded with a loyal friend,” says Amit Gowda, a well-known breeder of English Mastiffs in Bangalore.

Journey down the lane…

Originating in Great Britain, the Mastiff was favoured by nobility as a hunting companion and revered by peasants as a family and livestock protector. Today the Mastiff is known for being a loving companion and a trusted guard dog.

The majestic look

The English Mastiff is a large and powerful dog with a muscular body. Large and heavy, he spreads an aura of grandeur and dignity. His dark eyes are set wide apart from each other and are hazel brown. Even his small, thick ears are set wide apart. Their muzzle is dark, short and broad, as is the nose which displays flat nostrils. The tail tapers down and is slightly curled at the end. He has large round feet, with black toe nails.

“The Mastiff is a double-coated breed. The outer coat is short, coarse, and straight while the under coat is dense and fits closely to the body. The colour of the coat can vary —apricot, fawn, or brindle while his nose, muzzle and ears are black. This breed is an average shedder,” tells Amit.

The average height of males is 31-34 inches while that of females is 27-29 inches and their weights are around 72 kg and 68 kg respectively. They have a life expectancy of about 10-12 years.

Docile and lovable

The Mastiff is a watchful, reliable, and intelligent breed. He is exceedingly loyal, patient and deeply devoted to his family. He thrives on human companionship and affection and does not do well if left alone for extended periods of time. He loves to please and needs a lot of companionship. Calm, steady and docile, the Mastiff does best in a home with older considerate children. It is important to socialise a Mastiff puppy to make him get along well with other dogs. This breed is naturally protective and is extremely possessive of his family and home. They are suspicious of strangers and will try their best to keep them at bay. However, they do not attack or harm them in normal circumstances. They excel in guarding, military and police work, weight pulling, and search and rescue.

Bringing home a Mastiff puppy

As a puppy, your Mastiff should not be allowed to do anything that you would not wish your full-grown Mastiff to do. “And because your puppy is going to be such a large dog, it is also a very, very good idea that he receives basic obedience training. You definitely would want your big fellow to listen to you,” adds Amit with a chuckle. Mastiffs grow amazingly fast and it is advised not to force their growth with artificial vitamins and calcium supplements. Instead, they should be fed with a nutritionally balanced diet. As it is, Mastiffs are genetically programmed to grow big and heavy and if they are allowed to grow at their own rate, they will become healthy dogs with minimum health problems related to joints and bones. Generally Mastiff puppies eat a lot of food while growing, until the age of two. An adult Mastiff generally has a slow metabolism and does not eat an exceptional amount of food. However, they should not be overfed as they can become fat, leading to problems with bones and joints, heart, liver, kidney, etc.

Mastiffs drink a lot of water. Hence, fresh water should be kept available at all times. During growth periods, a Mastiff puppy is subject to joint injury, hence excessive exercise should be controlled. Let him play at his own pace but do not encourage him to go for long walks, jumping obstacles, or any other exercise that will stress the joints.

Mastiff puppies also have a tendency to chew, or swallow, rocks and sticks. So, they should be watched closely and discouraged from doing so.

A Mastiff remains a puppy much longer than most breeds. Even though a Mastiff is already quite large by the time he is 6 months old, he is still growing and maturing rapidly. A Mastiff does not reach his full physical or mental maturity until around 3 years of age.

Life with a Mastiff

Early socialisation and obedience are crucial for this breed. “He is eager to please but may be difficult to train. He does not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. This breed does best with firmness, fairness, patience, respect, and consistency,” advises Amit. However, Amit cautions that the Mastiff is not recommended for the novice, inexperienced, or passive owner as they can be difficult to control.

Keeping him fit and fine

“The Mastiff is slow moving but daily securely leashed walks or a play session in a safe enclosure are highly recommended to keep him happy and fit,” tells Amit.

Styling and hygiene

“Brushing with a firm bristle brush will suffice, followed by wiping with a towel to give a gleaming finish. Bathing or dry shampooing should be done when necessary,” informs Amit. Their grooming schedule should also include cleaning ears and eyes and clipping his claws.

Watch out for health problems

The Mastiff is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, ectropion, cardiomyopathy, and gastric torsion. They also have a tendency to drool and snore. All in all, an English Mastiff is a very loyal and patient dog and if you own one, you will be blessed with his love and companionship, which is simply priceless.

(With inputs from Amit Gowda, a hobby breeder who specializes in Great Danes, Mastiffs, Neapolitan Mastiffs, American Cockers and Saint Bernards. His registered kennel is ‘Neomass & Amrolyn’, he can be contacted at: 9845070811.)